Karaka grad on Derby path

Let’s Karaka Deel (NZ) (Dundeel) will be put on a Derby path after winning as a short-priced favourite at Swan Hill on Monday.

But exactly which Derby remains to be determined.

The first Group One Derby of the season is the 2500-metre Victoria Derby, at Flemington on October 31, and co-trainer David Eustace said he’ll be given his chance to be a part of that.

“He’s a horse that could end up in a Derby, but which one, time will tell,” Eustace said.

“Whether it is this spring, we’ll give him that opportunity if he comes through this race OK.”

By Dundeel out of an O’Reilly mare, Let’s Karaka Deel backed up a good debut over 1400m at Bendigo on July 29 with a strong on-pace display in the 1600-metre race under John Allen, who is no stranger to Derby success, having won the 2018 Victoria Derby on Extra Brut and three of the past five editions of the Adelaide version.

The Flying Start Syndications-raced colt, who started $1.30, scored by 1.5 lengths from Themagicneverends ($13), with Evader ($16) 1.25 lengths back third.

“Mentally he’s taken some time and taken some work and the team have done a great job in just getting him to do things the right way,” Eustace said.

“He’ll have learned plenty from today. Johnny asked him to go forward, he covered a bit of ground, relaxed nicely underneath him and then he had to kick clear and really stretched out down the straight.

“He’ll have taken great benefit from that. It’s all part of him getting educated the right way.”

As his name suggests, Let’s Karaka Deel was purchased at Karaka for $80,000 as a yearling by Cameron Bennett of Flying Start Syndications, in conjunction with Dave Mee of Pinhook Bloodstock.

Bred by the Hawkins family’s Wentwood Grange under their Llanhennock Trust banner, Let’s Karaka Deel was promoted to the $26 line in Sportsbet’s Victoria Derby market, which has four joint $11 favourites in Alcyone, Cherry Tortoni, Kings Legacy and Tagaloa. Eustace said Let’s Karaka Deel would most likely have another run in the country, after which a plan for the remainder of the season would be devised.

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